A lawmaker from Minnesota has claimed that the baseball legend Lou Gehrig may have died of concussions and not from the disease that bears his name.
Phyllis Kahn has launched an attempt to force doctors to release Gehrig's medical records so that researchers could investigate whether repeated head trauma contributed to his illness or not, the Daily Mail reported.
AdvertisementThe effort comes despite opposition from Mayo Clinic, which holds the medical records of Gehrig, and doubt from experts, that the records alone would be able to prove the cause of the player's death.
Kahn, a Democratic state representative and self-described baseball fanatic, said that the records "probably won't show anything."
"But just in case they might it's ridiculous not to look at them," she said.
Gehrig's death is commonly attributed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a debilitating neurological disease that became known by his name after the sportperson's death in 1941.
Kahn said she became intrigued after reading about a widely publicized study by Dr Ann McKee in 2010 that suggested a potential link between repetitive brain trauma in athletes and ALS.
She noted that Gehrig had suffered several concussions during his playing career, in which he set a record for the most consecutive games played.
Given that Gehrig attended Columbia University, he clearly had a good education and a lot of intellectual curiosity, Kahn said.
"It seems to me that if he were alive he would be authorizing it," she added.